“You’re going to take her away.”
“If she wants to leave.”
-The Girl and Kogel
While Naoko and Kalil moved further into Kouhei Castle, Kogel remained behind with The Girl, as they both tried to learn a bit more about each other, without giving too much away. Seeing her interest in his unloaded gun, Kogel told her about Brotherhood, how it was his brother’s until Kogel died holding it, and when he came back, both he and the gun had changed. He told her all this because he didn’t want to die again, and she needed to understand how important that gun was to him, and how much he trusted her that he trusted his safety to her.
They spoke of the Brood of the Dark Lord, how Lady Sari commanded it after the death of Lord Hades, and how Lady Sari told The Girl that the goal was to merge this world and the other. The Girl knew of Hades sending Doomtrain to Ad Astra, and how Hades kidnapped summoners under the guise of Eidel, but she clung, desperately, to her faith that everything they did, they did for the best.
“You’d kill one person to save a thousand, right?”
“…no. Just one.”
-Kogel and The Girl
The Girl opened up to Kogel, almost reluctantly, about her life. How she lost her only family, an Aeon named Syldra. The Girl was a summoner, and Syldra her only Aeon. It’s incredibly rare for an Aeon to die, but The Girl carried around a red materia orb, drained of all of its power, as a memento. Lord Hades found her and rescued her, and gave her more than safety — he gave her a life, and a purpose. More than anything, though, he gave her a family. Lady Sari.
“My friends there, Kalil and Naoko? We don’t always get along. I’m kind of hard to get along with, I suppose. I got too used to being alone. I lost my family when I was young, and I found a new purpose. Hunting down people who’d done wrong, finding them where they hid or were lost. That purpose became everything. What I did became the entirety of who I was.
“And I did some bad things. I hurt people, because I thought that purpose meant more than people. It’s hard to let that go. My friends… they remind me that I’m more than just the gunman. And that scares me sometimes because I spent so long not wanting to be anything but the job. The purpose. So I just kept thinking of everything as the job. Nothing else mattered. Until they got in. They got through to me. Things matter. I matter. Even if it reminds me of what I lost, or what I’ve done, that matters. I could sign a contract and have something easy to die for, if that was the job. It’s been harder to find something to live for.
“So believe me when I say I know where you’re coming from. But I know that it’s worth having something to live for. If she’s what you have to hold on to – I will not take that away from you. I couldn’t."
-Kogel, to The Girl
“Remnants of the Brood of the Dark Lord! I have come here today not as your enemy or your conqueror, but as your savior! Do not fear reprisal from those whom you forsook under the false teachings of Lord Hades, for I have come to deliver you from damnation by his hands! However, should any of you move to oppose me, your force will be met in kind, for I have not come alone! But fear not, for any who oppose me shall not perish, but will instead be brought out of the darkness and into the light! Lord Oneiros has returned!”
-Lord Oneiros and Kogel
Argus, now calling himself by his Brood name, Lord Oneiros, entered Kouhei Castle with the intent of taking the Brood of the Dark Lord under his guidance and leadership. He came with about fifteen cultists following him, ready to defend him if need be. Neither Kogel or The Girl trusted them, and with Kogel seeming like less of a threat now that he was an actual person, The Girl gave him his gun back, asking him to keep Lady Sari safe.
Kogel confronted Argus, and the war of words was engaged, though neither man moved for a weapon at any moment; Argus was not even armed. Kogel warned Argus about bringing an army into a sovereign state, while Argus argued that he came with the blessing of The Destroyer Herself, and even manifested traces of Dark Fire to illustrate his point. After the cultists retired to the dining hall to wait, Kogel and Argus spoke quietly, with Argus saying that he came to hear his goddess’s voice, and to save a people that needed asving, that had been led astray under Hades for the past many years. Argus came to undo the damage that the Brood did as a terror cell, and he prayed that he would not be wrong in this aim. Argus took Kogel’s warnings to heart, and awaited his audience with the Lady Sari.
The Girl decided to take Kogel to see Sari and tell her about what was happening, and showed him to a secret passageway inside the Armory.
“This is Schutter. As you can see, quite alive. Ally and friend to the Lady Sari.”
“But he’s dead.”
“Why do you people always think that’s the end to things?”
-Kogel and The Girl
The entrance to Sari’s room at the top of the secret passageway was barred by an armoire nailed to the wall with a large arrow. Kogel forced his way through, pistol drawn, to find Schutter on the far side, arrow nocked, ready to fire. They both stood down upon seeing the other.
Schutter told Kogel that Sari was downstairs with Kalil and Naoko, and that he happened to see a small creature that he suspected was one of the Destroyer’s shadow creatures and fired at it, figuring that he destroyed it in one shot. Schutter told Kogel and The Girl how to get to Sari, and then left, telling them that “we” would be coming to help Sari.
As Kogel and The Girl raced toward Sari, an ominous rumbling began in the basement…
GM’s Note: While not said in the session itself, the “shadow creature” Schutter fired at was one of Nephesh’s individual parts, gathering information throughout the castle.
Kogel earned two LP for the session, plus a bonus LP for a heated debate that never trended into a threat of imminent violence.